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HomeNewsGuatemalan journalist recognized for investigations nonetheless jailed

Guatemalan journalist recognized for investigations nonetheless jailed



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GUATEMALA CITY — A prize-winning Guatemalan journalist jailed on alleged cash laundering expenses that authorities critics have denounced as a strain tactic has confronted penalties for his work earlier than.

In 2003, authorities brokers searched José Rubén Zamora Marroquin’s dwelling and threatened his life after he wrote a column suggesting former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt, then president of the congress, was working a parallel authorities.

5 years later, armed males kidnapped Zamora in Guatemala’s capital earlier than releasing him 10 hours later exterior the town overwhelmed and drugged. Nobody was arrested, however on the time it was believed to be in response to his newspaper’s work.

On Friday, plainclothes investigators and police with assault rifles arrested Zamora at his dwelling. His preliminary look earlier than a decide was canceled Monday, as a result of the case file was apparently unavailable. The listening to was not instantly rescheduled, which means Zamora would stay in jail.

It additionally meant that the main points of the fees towards Zamora stay a thriller. On Friday, authorities investigators additionally raided the workplaces of El Periodico, holding its staff in place for greater than 15 hours.

Zamora based El Periodico in 1996 and it shortly gained a status for uncovering authorities corruption. The paper made reporting scoops on the present administration of President Alejandro Giammattei and at the very least three of his predecessors.

Final 12 months and this 12 months, El Periodico revealed a collection of investigations in regards to the go to of Russian enterprise individuals to Guatemala who met with Giammattei. The paper’s investigation accused Giammattei of accepting bribes in trade for a concession of property within the port of Santo Tomas de Castilla.

Legal professional Normal Consuelo Porras, who was just lately reappointed by Giammattei to a different time period because the nation’s high legislation enforcement official, has been sanctioned by the US for pursuing investigations towards prosecutors and judges who investigated corruption.

On Monday, authorities searched the house of a type of earlier targets, former decide Erika Aifán, who had fled to the US after denouncing corruption.

Porras’ particular prosecutor towards corruption, Rafael Curruchiche, who’s dealing with Zamora’s case, was additionally sanctioned by the U.S. authorities as an alleged impediment to investigating corruption.

Curruchiche has mentioned the case is concentrated on Zamora’s work as a businessman not as a journalist, however has supplied no particulars.

That was troublesome for others at El Periodico to reconcile as a result of the federal government froze the newspape’s financial institution accounts.

“The financial institution accounts have been suspended on the request of the (prosecutor’s workplace), with the one intention being to paralyze the funds of mentioned media outlet, making it unimaginable to satisfy with its labor and contractual obligations,” mentioned Gerson Ortiz, El Periodico’s information director.

Zamora’s son, Ramón Zamora, was extra direct. “This isn’t a case towards my father, it’s a systematic assault towards freedom of expression and democracy,” he mentioned. “They began with the activists, continued on to the prosecutors and now they’re beginning to pursue journalists.”

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